Tuesday, August 11, 2015

1... 2... 3... 4 Peaks

Over Summer Solstice, a 3500 person music festival called "Four Peaks" takes place just outside Bend Oregon. Boo and I went to our first this year. Today's post is a review, of sorts. I apologize both for the lateness of this posting as well for the lack of posting the past month. I've had some weird health things going on (bad lethargy) so finding energy to post about things just wasn't happening.

Anemia, Dust and Allergens
Not exactly "Lawyers, Guns and Money", but my trifecta for Four Peaks was somewhat misery-centered. I'd been feeling lethargic, and no amount of testing resulted in any useful information or actions. Basically, I was tired all the time. Any activity, even just walking across the room would spike my heart rate. Adding insult to injury, I was coming off a cold, allergy season was in full swing and Four Peaks was held in the central Oregon desert. As a result, Boo and I spent a lot of time near the

Four Peaks vibe
We love Four Peaks. The energy was positive and groovy, the people were friendly and the staff were awesome. As I mentioned in the Finding Waldo post earlier, we didn't see a single over-indulged person. The servers in the beer garden were on top of it and the White Bird tent folks must have been too. The times I passed by the White Bird tent, it was empty, so maybe we have the attendees to celebrate. Even though we mostly stayed away from the crown at the stage, we met tons of bus people, though, and we saw more splitties (4), bay-windows (16) and vanagons (literally dozens) than we'd seen at any festival or show up to that point. We were parked next to a '71 westy, for example. Boo and I would take walks around the lot/camping scene and talk to fellow festers, both bus owners and tent-folk. Everyone was just having a great time.

Melvin Seals and the JGB
Boo was awesome. Her patience for my lethargy was greater than my own. I wanted to see music, but it would wear me out just walking to the stage. So, we saved up all of our
energy on the second day for Melvin Seals and the JGB. If you aren't familiar, this group is made up of parts of Jerry Garcia's old band, including Melvin Seals on the keys. In the picture on the web, they show a long-haired guy on bass, but we had someone else playing... and he was fantastic. I hadn't ever thought of "Cats Down Under the Stars" as a funky tune, but the bass line he was laying down made that song boogie. Great stuff. The backup singers took me back to Jerry's old "windshield wiper" backup singers, complete with their synchronized side-to-side stepping while singing. They were great, the crowd loved them, and danced like each song was a set closer. I spent all of my energy for the day, and shuffled back to the bus to rest afterwards.

Poor Man's Whisky
Parked on our other side was a group of 3 families each from one of the 3 nearest states: Oregon, Washington and California. The guys had all gone to college with the front man for Poor Man's Whisky, so they had a special connection to the festival. They were adamant that Boo and I make it to see them, even if we missed the rest of the festival. So, that was our one target for the third day, and we weren't disappointed. While not as groovy as Melvin Seals, they pulled off some great stuff.. like a bluegrass version Pink Floyd's "Time". Having never seen them before, I loved their range, and everything they did, they did well. I'm sure they only get to Oregon for festival season, but if they make it back in the darker months, we'll definitely go.

To and From
Hapy drove great, both there and back. The Central Cascades were some of the steepest and most turn-y roads I'd driven sonce the engine transplant, so it was a great road test. I did have to drop into 3rd a couple of times on the way there. That could have been attributed to all the water, food and ice we were carrying. The drive home included a temperature scare. Driving west on OR20 out of Sisters, there is a long steep grade. Hapy's temperature steadily climbed until we almost hit 200*. We pulled over into an overlook, and set up a lunch picnic while he cooled down. After the picnic, I started testing the cooling fans, and sure enough, one of the fans wasn't spinning when the switch flipped. I'd seen this before, though when I went digging into the archive, I can't find any postings about it.

In 2012, we drove to the Further shows in Troutdale at the McMenamin's. The parking was rutted and bumpy. It was so bumpy that one of the wires for the cooling fans shook loose, so the coolant wasn't getting cooled off. I had to diagnose and fix it on the side of I-84!

Well, this time, I figured that out before we even pulled to a stop, much less after looking at things. The "lot" for Four Peaks is just open meadow, so there are lots of bumps and tire ruts creating quite the chatter as you leave. Of course one of the wires shook free! I identified the bad connection, fixed it and we were on our way.

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